Photo Credit: Image courtesy of EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
No less than 500 new species of cichlids, brightly coloured perch-like fish, evolved in Lake Victoria (East Africa) over the past 15,000 years -- a record in the animal and plant world. This evolutionary puzzle has now been solved by scientists from Eawag and Bern University. In a study published in Nature Communications, they demonstrate for the first time that this rapid evolution was facilitated by earlier hybridization between two distantly related cichlid species from the Upper Nile and Congo drainage systems. Read more by clicking on the title or picture.
Photo credit: Pavel Masek
We all do it; we all need it -- humans and animals alike. Sleep is an essential behavior shared by nearly all animals and disruption of this process is associated with an array of physiological and behavioral deficits. Read the full story by clicking on the title or picture.
The minnows known as golden shiners put on displays of synchronized swimming that could impress even the toughest Olympic judge. The ability of shiners and other fishes to change direction in harmony has long intrigued scientists, who have developed several ways of describing in mathematical terms how schooling works. But those approaches tend to be simplifications that do not take into account all the real-time sensory information available to the fish. Read the article by clicking on the picture or title.
There’s plenty of evidence that animals learn from one another. But until now, it was thought that only humans make judgment calls, such as “that woman seems to be finding more food than that other guy, and she’s eating more than I am, so I’ll follow her.” This ability to selectively follow such cues shows sophisticated social learning. Read how that applies to fish by clicking on the title or picture.
There's a scene in Pixar's Finding Nemo when Dory, a yellow-finned regal tang, injures herself in a tug-of-war over a snorkel mask. A tiny plume of blood curls away from Dory's face into the water around her, where it is sucked into the nostrils of Bruce, a "vegetarian" shark who immediately recants his no-sushi policy. (Fortunately, Dory escapes.) Scientists have known for some time that many ocean predators relish the scent of an injured fish, whereas fish that are more likely to end up as a meal flee from the same scent. Now, researchers think they have pinpointed the key chemical in fish skin that warns nearby fish of danger—a chemical related to a supplement some people take for joint pain. Click on the picture or title to read more...
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